Former Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (R) said Sunday on CBS News's Face the Nation that he thinks the Republican 2024 presidential field is too crowded and that some candidates need to exit the race.
“Look, I think there’s too many people in the field,” Hogan said. “You should not be in the race if you’re — if you don’t make the debate stage, you likely should consider getting out. If you’re on the debate stage, and you’re willing to stand up and challenge the leader that’s at 50 percent — if you’re unwilling to challenge Donald Trump, you should get off the stage.”
Hogan expressed dismay that former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden were the frontrunners for the nomination of their respective parties and noted that "70% of the people in America do not want" that matchup in the general election.
“If you’re in there running for vice president, or you’re trying to be a Cabinet secretary, or you’re trying to become famous, or write a book, or get on television, you should get the heck out of the race,” he said.
Hogan said that he feared a "multi-car pileup where the 50% of the Republican primary voters that don't want Donald Trump are divided among the 11 people. And that's exactly what I was afraid of, is what's happening. I think it's a real problem."
It may be why Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has actually declined in polls since announcing his candidacy in May even though he is second in place to Trump in most polls and why no other candidate has been able to break double digits (other than in a few outlying polls).
Hogan is the honorary co-chairman of No Labels, a non-partisan group that has been considering a third-party nominee to run against both major party candidates in 2024.
No Labels has already had Democrats panicking at the thought that Sen. Joe Manchin (R-WV), a Democrat, might get into the 2024 race independently and siphon votes from the Democrat nominee. In a tight race, a showing by Manchin as low as three or four points could get Trump elected easily.
A Republican candidate doing so would be just fine with them since it could have the opposite effect of hurting Trump and helping Biden.
Hogan said that although no third-party candidate has ever gotten enough votes to win a presidential race, he thinks a Trump-Biden matchup in 2024 may be the best chance ever of that scenario.
"We're at a point where we've never been in America. So we just don't know," he said, adding, "It very well may be the first time in our history where the American public is really hungry for something like this."
Hogan didn't rule out a No Labels ticket in 2024, one that could have himself at the head.
He said the conditions would have to be just right for that to happen because he "would only be in it to win it."
But given his dislike for Trump, who knows? He could decide that being a spoiler is exactly what he wants to do.